Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)
Gynecomastia is a condition of over developed or enlarged breasts in men. It can occur at any age and can be hereditary, caused by the use of certain medications or the results of hormonal changes and obesity. While the condition generally doesn’t signify a serious health threat, it can have devastating effects on a man’s self-esteem and can cause emotional embarrassment, social embarrassment as well as impair self-confidence. Typically men with gynecomastia will avoid certain activities such as changing clothes in the locker room or swimming in public.
Fortunately, plastic surgery offers a safe and highly effective solution for male breast reduction surgery. At Dermatology & Plastic Surgery of Arizona, we are please offer male breast reduction surgery. If you are an adult male who feels self-conscious about your appearance because you have enlarged breast, Dr. Jamie Moenster can help.
- Men who have excess breast tissue despite being in good physical shape
- Men who have lost a large amount of weight and are struggling with excess skin in the chest area
- Individuals who do not have life-threatening illness or medical conditions
- Non-smokers and non- drug users
- Men with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind
- Men who are physically healthy
- Men whose breast development has stabilized
- Men who are bothered by the feeling that their breasts are too large
Typically gynecomastia surgery has multiple steps. The surgery can be performed with liposuction alone which removes the fatty tissue that is associated with gynecomastia. There will be an excision of the breast tissue which occurs underneath the nipple areola complex and sometimes there is a reduction of the nipple areola size. Occasional loose skin must also be removed and this can include resizing of the nipple and the areola. Which surgery is most appropriate for you depends on the severity of gynecomastia. Most of the time this can be done with very minimal incisions just around the nipple areola complex or small little poke holes for liposuction. However when there is a large amount of breast tissue and excess skin, occasionally a larger scar that looks like a sideways lollipop must be performed to correct the excess tissue and remove all the loose skin. If there is a large amount of breast tissue and loose skin, it may require a free nipple graft, where the nipple is excised and placed back on the chest as a skin graft.
Length of Surgery
Gynecomastia surgery can take anywhere from 2-5 hours, depending on the individual.
Recovery, Risks and Results
During your gynecomastia surgery recovery, dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions. An elastic bandage or support garment may also be used to help minimize swelling and also to help support your new chest contour during the healing process. Small drains may be placed to drain fluid from the surgery. These are typically removed at one week.
Specific instructions will be sent home with you, which will include how to care for the surgical site, which medications to take to aid in the healing process and specific concerns to look for at the surgical site.
Sutures are normally removed between 7-10 days after the surgery, unless they are dissolvable sutures.
Typical recovery time is 4 weeks, depending on your duties of your job. Usually a week to two weeks off of work or if you have a very physical job you may need 4 full weeks off of work. Exercise needs to be put on hold until 4 weeks after surgery. Common side effects include fluid formation or seroma which sometimes has to be drained with the use of a needle in the office. Changes in nipple sensation, bruising and swelling are also common but temporary.
Most swelling, bruising and soreness is gone within 6-8 weeks. Strenuous activities need to be put on hold for at least 8 weeks. The scar will continue to fade for up to two years.
Gynecomastia surgery risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Blood clots
- Breast asymmetry
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation
- Possibility of revisional surgery
- Unfavorable scarring
Expected results after surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and the incision lines will fade. After gynecomastia surgery, individuals will notice:
- Smaller chest wall
- Reduction of the breast tissue
- Reduction of the nipple areola complex as needed
It is not uncommon to experience bruising and swelling after surgery. It is important for me who undergo this procedure to continue to live a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising on a regular basis.